USTA Jr. Team Tennis Southern Section Championships Set To Begin This Weekend

August 15, 2007 01:48 PM

More than 450 junior players are expected to take part in the 2007 USTA Jr. Team Tennis Southern Section Championships, which are being held from August 17-19, in Mobile, Ala.

This year’s event has drawn the top teams from throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The teams, which represent various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations, have finished at the top of their local leagues and are now vying for a chance to represent the USTA Southern Section at the USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Championships.

Matches will be played at the Mobile Tennis Center in Mobile, AL which is the official headquarters for the USTA Southern Section Jr. Team Tennis Championships. Team rosters consist of at least 3 girls and 3 boys who compete in Boy’s and Girl’s Singles, Boy’s and Girl’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles.

USTA Jr. Team Tennis is a multi-week program of team practice and match play for boys and girls, ages 6 to 18, who want to play tennis on teams. Teams are comprised of players of similar age and skill and they compete against other teams from the same geographic region in one of four league divisions: 10 & under, 12 & under, 14 & under or 18 & under. Parents serve as organizers, team coaches and captains and are vital to the success of the program.

In non-elimination round robin draws, two groups of five teams compete in round robin play with the winner of each group advancing to the finals based on total games won.

"The section championships determine the best tennis teams in the South," said Mary Hatfield, Tournament Director for the event and USTA Southern Section Jr. Team Tennis Coordinator. "They've fought their way here and now they have a chance to win and earn their way to the national championships. It is a great experience for these kids, but most importantly they are having fun.”

USTA Jr. Team Tennis is team tennis concept that emphasizes fun, fitness, and friends. Competitions are held for intermediate and advanced players in three age divisions: 12 and under, 14 and under and 18 and under. Players in all three divisions have the opportunity to advance to section competition and players in the 14 and under division and 18 and under may qualify for the National Championships.

The Championships introduce young players to competition in which competitive stress is minimized and competitive learning opportunities are maximized. The Championship Events are also designed to: (1) provide a competitive opportunity for maximizing each player’s physical and emotional development, (2) promote the spirit of competition and camaraderie which will enhance and strengthen a player’s self-esteem (3) provide a national competition climate that focuses more on personal development and less on competitive outcomes.

Founded in 1881, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in this country. In addition to owning the US Open and selecting members of the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic teams, the USTA administers a variety of programs nationwide for players of all ages and ability levels and, as a not-for-profit organization, the association invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop the growth of tennis. It is divided into 17 sections, of which the USTA Southern Section is the largest. The 170,000 USTA members living in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee make up the USTA Southern Section, and account for approximately 25% of the total USTA membership. A professional staff housed in Norcross, GA carries out the USTA Southern Section’s daily operations, but policy is formed and much of the organization’s work is executed via a Board and committee structure of over 200 volunteers. For more information about the types of programs and services offered by the USTA Southern Section visit